The creative team behind red hot Australian horror movie Wolf Creek, including writer/director Greg McLean, is preparing to shoot Rogue, a film about a giant crocodile stalking tourists in the Australian outback that will be majority financed by The Weinstein Co.

A large staff is known to be well into pre-production in an office in Port Melbourne on the top secret project.

Screen International first reported on Rogue in 2000, when it attracted enough presales and private equity to trigger investment from Film Finance Corporation Australia (FFC). Back then it was budgeted at A$11 million, Martin Fabinyi from Mushroom Pictures and Julia Overton were attached as producers, and Beyond was the sales agent.

The film subsequently collapsed and McLean realised he would need to find a less ambitious and expensive vehicle as his debut film. That film turned out to be Wolf Creek, which got backingfrom the FFC four years later with sales handled by Arclight, the company setup by Gary Hamilton after he left Beyond.

"The thing about crocodiles is that they are scary if you just tell the truth about them," McLean told Screen International five years ago about Rogue. In that script, a cynical US travel writer goes on a river cruise captained by a tough Australian woman and finds himself among a group of people stranded on a tidal mud island.

Wolf Creek was an official selection at both the Sundance and Cannes film festivals and is set to open in the US through the new Weinstein US distribution operation on Nov 18.